The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People says it “stands behind” Rachel Dolezal, the president of the Spokane chapter of the civil rights group who has allegedly been lying for years about being black.
“The NAACP Alaska-Oregon-Washington State Conference stands behind Ms. Dolezal’s advocacy record,” the NAACP said in a statement Friday.
The group said that Dolezan is “enduring legal issues with her family, and we respect her privacy in this matter.”
The statement comes after it emerged this week that Dolezan has apparently lied in numerous interviews and on applications about her heritage. Besides serving as the president of the Spokane NAACP, Dolezan is an Africana studies professor at Eastern Washington University. She was also recently appointed to chair Spokane’s office of the police ombusdman commission. (RELATED: Spokane NAACP President Lied About Being Black, Has Claimed To Be Target Of Several Hate Crimes)
But Dolezan’s parents came forward this week claiming that their daughter is a fabulist. According to her parents, Larry and Ruthanne, Dolezan has lied when she’s claimed that her biological father is black and that she has a black son. She has also said she was born in a teepee and that she has been the target of at least nine hate crimes.
The Dolezans, who live in Montana, where their daughter was born, said that she was not born in a teepee. They have also provided proof in the form of a birth certificate that lists Larry as her father. He is white. The boy Dolezan has claimed is her son is actually her adopted brother, the Dolezans said. They adopted four African orphans in the 1990s.
In its statement, the NAACP ignored the accusations that Dolezan has lied about her ethnicity. Instead, it diverted the question to whether or not a white person can serve in a leadership role in the organization.
“One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership,” the group’s statement reads.
Questions began circulating about Dolezan after a recent incident in which she claimed she was the target of hate threats. She said that in February she received hate mail that referenced lynchings. That incident marked the ninth time that Dolezan has claimed to have been targeted by extremist groups while living in Spokane or nearby Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Dolezan has claimed in the past that she has been targeted with nooses and swastikas. She also claimed that in April 2009, three skinheads confronted her at her job at a civil rights organization to ask her where she lived and about the boy she claimed was her son.
One claim Dolezan appears not to have lied about is that she is a graduate of Howard University, the historically black college. The Daily Caller was able to confirm that Dolezan graduated with a master’s degree in fine arts from there in May 2002.
Though there has been no proof to support Dolezan’s claims that she or the Spokane NAACP have been targeted with hate attacks, the national branch addressed that issue in its statement.
“Hate language sent through mail and social media along with credible threats continue to be a serious issue for our units in the Pacific Northwest and across the nation,” the organization said.